The 18th century — the Colonial era of America — was a fascinating time for cooking. While most people didn’t yet have their own ovens, and often had to improvise, many people actually had a pretty decent knowledge of various cooking methods and would use as complicated a spicing regimen as their means would allow.
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Text version: https://www.toptenz.net/10-fascinating-facts-about-cooking-in-the-18th-century.php
10. Cooking Puddings In Cloth Bags Was Actually An Incredibly Common Practic
9. Food Preservation Methods Were One Of The Most Important Things To Know
8. Nutmeg Was One Of The Most Popular Spices, And Shows Up In Almost Everything
7. In The 18th Century, People Had A Taste For Flavors Like Rosewater That We Would Find Odd
6. Suet, The Hard White Fat From Kidneys, Was A Staple Of 18th Century Cooking
5. Enslaved Cooks Were Incredibly Skilled And Brought Knowledge To The Enslaved Community
4. Seasonal And Regional Food Were All People Had, So They Had To Learn To Get Creative
3. “Cheesecakes” That Had No Cheese Were Common In 18th Century Cookbooks
2. Raisins, And Other Dried Fruits And Nuts, Were Considered Luxurious Additions To Desserts
1. Eggs Appear In A Ridiculous Amount Of Recipes, And Form The Backbone Of Regular Cooking
What do you mean fruit and nuts aren’t popular in desserts and bread?!?! Banana bread alone, besides banana often comes with pecans or walnuts, cranberries and pumpkin seeds are a staple of autumnal deserts, carrot cake often includes walnuts, pineapple and sometimes raisins, and candied nuts are incredibly popular, from spiced nuts at carnivals and fairs, chocolate covered nuts, and nuts in candy and chocolate bars. There is no issue with fruits or nuts in desserts. I do think raisins aren’t as popular as they once were, but that does not justify a sweeping generalization like “fruit and nuts are snubbed in desserts “.
My mom LOVES fruitcake and can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want some. One day, I realized what I personally didn't like about it were the CANDIED fruit pieces, as they're so sweet and numerous compared to any ACTUAL fruit in it that they overpower the rest of the cake and just make me thirsty. When I mentioned that to my mom, she tried making a fruitcake that simply replaced the candied fruit with more real fruit, and sure enough, I loved it.
Actually regarding the last statement about chickens being cheaper: It's actually pigs who were the economically best choice, at least according on my grandparents farm (around 1900). Feeding chicken with valuable grain was WAY too expensive. You either had to give them your own food source or buy some. If you run around a large area to feed themselves you waste far too much time looking for eggs, because they build nests everywhere.
pigs however? you can feed them with leftovers, and they used to add ground hey to stretch even that, so the pigs got fatter faster. you can let them run around and look for food as well. you get a fair amount of meat once a year.
my grandparents ground rule was in about: as many milk-cows as your fields can feed, as many pigs as you can feed with your leftovers and surroundings and just so many chickens that you have just enough eggs for every day. Because as everybody had chickens they didn't have a high selling price, while at the same time spoiling incredibly fast. (milk can at least be processed and sold for a better price)
I'm American and I say nuts are delicious! Furthermore, there are actually many recipes still popular in America that use nuts, such as peanut brittle, banana nut bread, cookies, brownies, haystacks, and pecan pie is a holiday staple. Rocky road ice cream is rather popular as well; and it contains nuts. Not sure where you got the idea that nuts are not a thing in baking here in the USA; but many people enjoy them and make various foods with them. As for raisins I personally hate them, but they can be commonly found in oatmeal cookies, Raisin Bran, bagels and certain types of breakfast pastries.
I'm only 59 and when I was growing up seasonal and regional foods were still a big deal and I grew-up in the big city (San Francisco, CA.). Rarely did we get fruits and vegetables from So. America like we do today. I suppose if money was no object one could get whatever one wants even back then but nobody was paying premium for stuff from far away, so I kind of disagree with that point (#4).
Be careful about using Townsend’s as a reference; they have the dubious record of selling and promoting things that never existed. (See bodices, now with added “boning” - a silly attempt to keep selling it.)
Who gave you this information about us Americans not liking nuts or raisins in our sweets?!?? Raisnets, raisin bread , pecan sandies, pecan turtles and nut brittles are a common gift and eaten very commonly here. I’m also partial to pecans because I’m from The South, but I make either peanut or cashew brittle from scratch every for Christmas gifts for my family. 🥜
Ps. I love Townsend’s channel! My favorite episode is about Paw-Paws. We call them hillbilly bananas 🍌 Love your channel also. 👍🏻
Thanks for this upload, interesting and factual, and no dam political connections, refreshing to have a purely informative list that is not contentious. It is very easy to get suet in the UK, not just supermarkets, however it is definitely not used as much as it was when I was a lad, pity,it can turn very bland ingredients into a feast, especially in a stew/casserole when suet dumplings are added soaking up the juices and gravy, scrumptious.
About nutmeg getting you high:
It doesn't really work as you need to consume about 10g (which is difficult due to the strong taste and the problem of swallowing large amounts of a powdered substance. Think cinnamon challenge only 10 times worse) to get any effect whatsoever and it can take over 4 hours for it to begin effecting you. If you manage to do all that, probably all you will feel is mild to moderate drowsiness.
You very easily can get suet in the United States, I feed it to my birds. Just ask a worker in the meat department for suet at your local grocery store. You can buy it mad cheap and it's worth it. Any bird who eats suet, eats mosquitoes.
I love nutmeg and I use a lot of nuts and dried fruit in my cooking. 18th Century cooking was based on local and seasonal ingredients and contained far less sugar than what many people consume today. One of my Nana's treasures that she passed down to her family is an 18th century tea chest inlaid with mother of pearl...in those days, spices and tea were as precious as gold and were kept under lock and key, and it was considered rude to put too much sugar in your tea or coffee as this wasted your host's supply and implied that you thought his or her tea was of poor quality. These days most of the items at Starbucks is loaded with sugar and is simply not healthy!
I stopped watching townsend when sometime around Trump's election, he had a show about
This is our final cooking episode at George Washington's Mount Vernon. For this last recipe, Deb Colburn joins us and makes us "Orange Fool". A perfect dessert to end your meal. Enjoy!
He, of course maintains the two are in no way connected, but usually coincidences are not.
If you're in the U.S. you should be able to go to a butcher shop or a grocery store that has a butcher and get some suet. When I make pemican ill get suet from my local grocery store butcher and its pretty cheap. Its not really something thats usually asked for so they don't tend to keep any on hand but if I go in in the morning and be like Hey I need some suet they'll tell me to come back later on in the day and they'll have it ready for me.
Almost all southern cooking is of African origin, wit some native and the rest is European. Food was still seasonal until the late 1990's. I really love nuts and fruits in things but chocolate chips in brownies and pudding needs to STOP! Absolutely no real research has ever found a problem with eggs, butter, or green leafy vegetables.
I'm terribly disappointed in this video. It wasn't bad but my interest in this subject left me wanting at every turn. What I would want out of this topic are links/examples/recipes that embodied these facts. An American has no idea what you are talking about when you say "pudding". Pudding is something made with milk and chocolate. Suet (as cursorily mentioned) is so obscure that it doesn't matter that you're saying it's available online, no one here has any idea what you're talking about or what it would be used for.
American Barbecue was originally a Native American way of cooking. The Spanish saw Southern US and Caribbean tribes cook meat on grills made of sticks over fire and slowly adopted it into their cooking. Eventually when the Colonists arrived and took slaves with them the ways evolved and transformed. But it was the Native Americans, not slaves, who invented Barbecue.
I'm not discounting African slaves contributions to American cooking, btw. They are the backbone of a lot of culinary traditions in America. However, Native American contributions should not be forgotten.
I feel like the no nuts in confections thing is more of a californicated way of thinking. I've never heard of this becoming less popular or disliked around the East Coast at all. there's nuts and fruits in the majority of our candies and treats.
Townsend is a wonderful channel! My granddaughter Ilyana loves their cooking videos- especially when Ivy is on!
Simon, cheesecakes go Spanaway back. I have 15th-17th c recipes for them- sweet pies recognizable as cheese cake! I do camping events with the SCA, and I ha e made cheesecake in camp, starting by MAKING.CHEESE in camp, then combining it with eggs, Sweetener (sugar or honey), a bit of nutmeg, and some rose water. They are AMAZING, and if you serve them with whipped team and berries, you'll.get marriage proposals!
There are plenty of ways to store food safely, at least in arab countries and most of mailand Europe, fridges are overused nowadays, and only ignorant people get horrified when they find out a certain something is not stored in the fridge.
Today rosewter and other scented water is still used in pastry today.
I would love to try an original cheese cake recipe. Also I love nuts and fruit in my sweets. I thought about substituting sugar, with fruit instead of artificial sugar in home made sweets. (I can't stand the idea of artificial sugar)
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